EXPIRED: 01/12/10 – Shirley Bell Cole, 89, found a way to make a living when most of the nation was out of work. And she was just a kid. Leapin’ Lizards!

Cole, was a 10 year girl from Chicago who, during the Great Depression, took a bus to a downtown studio to record the radio program “Little Orphan Annie.” She kept this up for 10 years, six days a week, and when she got too old for the part, in 1940, the show was cancelled, replaced by Captain America.

The show was produced by Ovaltine’s advertising agency, which shielded child actors from fan mail and other indications of their popularity. Years later, Cole was amazed to discover how popular she had been.



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